Tau Empire: Fast Attack: XV109 Y’Vahra Battlesuit

Heyo everyone, It is the worlds worst 40k player her, Hotsauceman. I’m here to tell you about the Tau Empire’s XV109 Y’Vahra Battlesuit. For more tips, check out Tactics Corner for more fun stuff.

A close range variant of the Riptide. This guy is meant to get into the face of the enemies and annihilate them with brutal firepower. What seems like 2 different weapon systems actually work well together. A different type of Tau unit just because he is meant to be close, while the other tau want to be far from the action.

Like said, this guy is meant to be in the face of your enemy and then run when things get too serious. A bit weaker than normal riptides in terms of its ability to survive. It is able to deal accurate damage pretty easy. So be sure to be careful with this guy because he cannot take a hit, and while he has abilities to get out of combat, most guys will tear though this guy.


  • Y’vahra Battlesuit: a 2+ save and gives a Blacksun filter, considering how close you will be and the fact that one of your weapons ignores cover innately its forgettable but helpful
  • Ionic Discharge Cannon: 12” 3 shot missile launcher. It has the “Haywire Burst” rule which adds a Haywire roll to every hit. Meaning every shot has a chance to do 3 hullpoints
  • Phased Plasma-Flamer: A Flamer with two firing modes. Both Str6. One is AP3 with a single shot, the other is Ap2 with two shots, but Gets Hot!. It has Torrent too, but only up to 6”.
  • Ravelin Shield Generator: A 5+ Invulnerable against most attacks, 4+ against attacks closer than 12”.
  • Vectored Thruster Array: Every other turn it can MOVE like a Flying Monsterous Creature
  • Flechette dispersal pods: When it Deepstrikes or moves over a unit, it can do an attack against it, not that great, but may take a few wounds off


  • It may take Support Systems with the same restrictions a Riptide has. Will touch on those in a bit.
  • Shielded Missile Drone: Drones slow this guy down, Not worth it
  • Shield Drone: Same as above

Special rules

  • Nova Reactor – Y’vahra Class (Y’vahra Shas’vre only): Just like the Riptide one of the 4 following effects.
  • 3+ invulnerable save in Close combat. Good, but the following one is fine aswell for getting out of Jams
  • Removed from play and placed in reserves. Does work is close combat aswell
  • Makes your Ionic Discharge cannon Heavy 3+d3 so at worst you wil be getting 4 haywire hits and 4 str8 hits, enough to make Super Heavys sweat
  • Gives the model Jink. But also, when moving with the Vectored Thrust Array, it has a 4+ cover save.
  • Supporting Fire: Fun with the Plasma flamer.
  • Hit and Run: With Initiative 2, don’t count on it. Yes the Drones make it easier, but those are the first to die and slow him down. Not worth it IMO.


Ok, So, as always, building the units and what to give the Y’vahra in terms of upgrades. As I said earlier, you should skip over the drones. They prevent his Vectored Thrust Array from activating. But if you want some survivability, take them and just hope your opponent kills those first. Now, there are a myriad of special systems this guy can take. The problem is he is already expensive. He clocks in at over 230 points. So keep him cheap or your end up bogged up with too many upgrades. The best and most simple is the Early Warning Override. With the Flamer automatically hitting, anything with a 2+ will not want to get near you. Stimulant Injector may be a good idea, you only have 4 wounds. But I have never had this guy survive because Grav-guns always kill him. So it is up to you whether it is worth it.

Ok, now onto actual tactics. Moving like a FMC is good and all, the problem is that his guns are such short range. So, if you can somehow get him up the field it would work great, One such way is infiltrate him, if you roll on strategic, hope for the Infiltrator one. Now, if you don’t get that, you can always try Deepstriking. If you try to Deep Strike, remember the trick with Tetras and homing beacons in order to get the best of him and make sure your expensive model doesn’t land squarely on a Land Raider and dies. If you do not remember this trick, Outflank some Tetras and you do not scatter.


The weapons may seem off because one is a vehicle killer, while the other is a Infantry killer, but there is a certain trick I learned to pull of. If the vehicle is near infantry(They always tend to be) you place the small end just on the vehicle, making it your target, while catching the other guys. Is it cheesy? Yeah!! Will your opponent call Bullshit? Of-course, but it is legal, just make sure to top off the salt when you haywire his Imperial Knight to death. The thing is about this Flying Riptide is that is isn’t meant to get into the thick of it. It is a skirmisher first and foremost, don’t throw it into the middle of your opponent’s army. It will die. Throw it to the side or units that are out in the middle of nowhere. Two of these, each pinching the side of the opponent’s army can make for a brutal tactic if you rush other stronger units near it. These guys’ pair well with Storm Surges because they can keep up and still fire their weapons. Sadly, as of yet there are not formations for these guys. But keep up hope. The new ForgeWorld book will do it I hope.

So, yeah, a pretty straightforward unit that I personally love. It requires some explaining to opponents unfamiliar with it, but it is pretty good, Try it out. Remember to comment below and Frontline Gaming sells Games Workshop product at up to 25% off, every day.


About HotSauceMan

HotSauceMan is a mediocre and lower tier player, but he makes up for it in spunk and Jazz. When not writing for Frontline, He can be found huddled away in his dorm watching cartoon, or fighting DareDevil.

4 Responses to “Tau Empire: Fast Attack: XV109 Y’Vahra Battlesuit”

  1. Blight October 22, 2016 9:59 pm

    Actually the trick with the template is illegal. When it comes to templates and vehicles you have to place as much of the template on the vehicle as possible. This is different from infantry units where you just have to cover as many models as possible.

    • Adam Wright October 25, 2016 9:37 pm

      This is true. I discovered this problem running heavy flamers on my salamander dreads. You just have to try and position your model right so that while you are legally covering the vehicle with your template you are also managing to catch as many infantry models underneath it as well.

    • Alexander October 25, 2016 11:29 pm

      This is actually a lot easier then you might think (legally) for example I played a opponent who left his warp spiders right in front of his warp hunter. For some odd reason he deployed as far up as he possibly could (probably confident that he could jump away. So I jumped my flametide down and angled it just right where I targeted the vehicle but caught his warp spiders to. And I think hotsauce man forgot to mention this flamer is a heavy 2 flamer so anything caught under the template gets hit TWICE so 5 warpspiders are equal to 10 hits of S6 AP2 and because I targeted the tank and not the spiders he can’t jump away. They died and the warphunter died just to the haywire hits. This model is brutal to anyone. The haywire gun also causes blind so shooting necron and Nurgle units are fun. And the salt after those games were so good

      • Shas'Itsa Mari'o November 18, 2016 6:38 am

        it’s also really funny when you hit a Stormsurge with the haywire cannon and make the big guy go Blind. Initiative 2 FTW